illus. by Mark Jackson. 32p. index. Candlewick. 2013. RTE $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6396-4. LC 2012942617.
K-Gr 2—Written as a narrative about one female snake-Python-this brief introduction to the species offers basic information such as how and what she eats; how she keeps warm; scales and molting; and incubation and hatching of eggs. Two to six sentences of text and a related fact or two appear on each double-page illustration. For example, on the spread about molting, the accompanying facts state: "Python's sleek scales are made of keratin-just like human fingernails. Snakes don't have eyelids, so they can't blink. Their eyes are covered by a single scale." Jackson's carefully composed, mixed-media illustrations, heavily detailed in rust-colored pencil, have an open, sketchy look that attractively and effectively shows the large snake in its habitat-the Australian bush. The artist shows it twining around tree branches; warming itself on a sunny rock; and hunting small prey from a coiled position in the wild grass. A paragraph of information about pythons and an index of key words in the text are appended. This attractive and readable book is an excellent introduction to informational literature and to a fascinating creature.—Susan Scheps, formerly at Shaker Heights Public Library, OH

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